Great Steak

There is no denying it — we love a quality cut of beef. Madison’s restaurants and butcher shops offer a variety of flavorful choices. You can enjoy a cooked-to-perfection steak when dining out or grilling at home.
Restaurant Table Setting with Juicy Steak, Wine and sides on a tablecloth.
Ruth's Chris Steak House

Unbeatable Flavor and Service
To describe the last year as challenging for many area restaurants is an understatement. However, at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Middleton, general manager Lee Drapp is feeling grateful.

“Since day one, we’ve felt so supported by our guests and our community, but also by the most important people: our staff,” he reflects. “They’re extremely loyal and, really, they’ve been warriors through it all.”

Drapp and his team look forward to welcoming guests back at full capacity someday, but for now they’re staying low-key and working hard to keep customers safe. That’s meant staying up to date on evolving safety recommendations and receiving specialized training. “We just want to be cautious, and I think we’ve done a good job.”

Guests are welcome to dine in at Ruth’s Chris seven days a week. The restaurant is following enhanced safety precautions, including social distancing guidelines and limited interactions between staff and guests. For those who prefer to savor their steakhouse favorites from the comfort of home, online ordering and delivery options via DoorDash are also available.

The locally owned, nationally acclaimed restaurant has become a part of the Madison-area community and dining scene since opening 14 years ago. Many come to enjoy the legendary Ruth’s Chris steaks along with a delectable selection of chicken, fish, vegetarian options and delicious side dishes. Guests regularly opt to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions there as well.

“We really try to connect as people here, as a team and also with our guests,” Drapp says. “I hope people genuinely feel that hospitality when they come here. It’s just so important that we can come together and care for one another.”

Variety of raw steak cuts on a slab

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Better Beef
The Conscious Carnivore’s expert staff can guide you to the best cuts of steak to satisfy your grilling needs. As Madison’s only whole-animal butcher, Conscious Carnivore takes pride in sourcing its meat directly from local farmers who raise their animals ethically to ensure the best quality of their meat.

A lot of factors go into getting that perfect, juicy steak.

The Conscious Carnivore, Madison’s only whole-animal butcher shop, doesn’t just offer an impressive array of cuts. Its expert staff can also tell you exactly how to prepare, cook and serve them for the most mouthwatering results.

“We’ll take the time to answer any questions and can write down instructions for customers,” says Dave Gathy, owner and head butcher at Conscious Carnivore.

Conscious Carnivore specializes in sourcing ethically raised animals from local farms and cutting its meat in-house. Customers can browse its retail selection or arrange for made-to-order cuts of beef, pork, poultry and other types of meat.

Gathy says their most popular steaks currently are T-bones, bone-in rib-eyes and their 40-day dry-aged porterhouses. The latter’s aging process gives time for the meat’s enzymes to break down connective tissue.

“It makes the meat more tender and flavorful,” he says of the aging.

Gathy says if customers aren’t sure which cuts are right, his staff can offer expert advice. Some less-common cuts, such as petite tender or hanger steak, offer great taste for a good value as well.

“[Petite tender] is a really awesome cut that’s half the price of a tenderloin that’s still just as tender,” Gathy says.

For grilling, Gathy recommends letting steaks reach room temperature before cooking. Putting the charcoals to one side, or having a grill with only some of the burners lit, offers a way to move the steak away from flare-ups while cooking.

Gathy also recommends using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and to let the steak rest for several minutes before serving.

“If you cut into it right away, all that juice runs out,” he says.

To hear more about the Conscious Carnivore’s selection of steaks and its other meat and seafood options, visit its shop at 3236 University Ave., call 608-709-1418 or go to

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